About Tenka's name

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About Tenka's name

Post by Digsu » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:38 am

A while ago I made a post in LOTPW topic about this, but I guess I might as well post it somewhere where more people can see it as well.

Short version: The character the fandom calls "Tenka" doesn't actually have a known given name and "Tenka" is actually his title, similar to the Banken/Guard Dog and Kaibutsu/Monster situation.

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Long version: Everyone other than Tenka himself, including the narrator, refers to him as "tenka-sama" (天下様), which is an archaic word for "Lord" or "Ruler", though the honorific suffix "-sama" is sometimes dropped.

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When Unsai asks Tenka to state his name in volume 17, Tenka calls himself "The Emperor" ("mikado"/帝), but later on tells Unsai to refer to him as "tenka-sama" like all his other underlings do. Tenka is apparently the descendant of dogs who were known and respected as the emperors of dogs in Japan, and the whole lineage originated from ninja dogs who served directly under the (human) emperor of Japan, which is why he and his underlings consider him an emperor.

For what it's worth, the Finnish translation refers to him as "Valtias", which literally means "Ruler".

I'm not saying we should all stop calling him "Tenka" right this instant, but this might be worth keeping in mind for things like image gallery topics. Plus it's a neat little piece of Ginga trivia :surprisegin:



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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Arano » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:33 pm

Everyone other than Tenka himself, including the narrator, refers to him as "tenka-sama"...

...Tenka calls himself "The Emperor" ("mikado"/帝), but later on tells Unsai to refer to him as "tenka-sama" like all his other underlings do.
Tenka becomes a name we have to call him by default if the narrator refers to him as Tenka-Sama, and the character himself tells others to do the same. I'm sure one can't be over-familiar enough with an Emperor to call him anything but what he permits you to call him... So I don't think there's a debate on what to call him as such/what to label his gallery topic? But this is a cool piece of trivia. It's the same as Shogun isn't it - General.

The reason we are never provided a traditional given name in these instances is likely because it would lessen the status of the character, anyone else think that? It's not a question of not knowing the name/that the name is a secret, it's that we are told we have to name them by their status without question. A traditional name is irrelevant because all that matters is conveying the power that character holds, and this is pretty much the ultimate way of doing it right? Making sure that even the readers also don't have the privilege of familiarity.

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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Tikikata » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:42 pm

天下 itself is a word that means a few different things, if we're getting technical here ("the world," "the ruling power," "society," and it can even mean "shougun" in a very archaic form of Japanese, probably referencing leadership). 天下様 itself is 天下 with the added 様 to make it a title, so this makes sense to call him such. I don't think I would've ever caught this because I don't own any of the actual volumes (yet).

I'll continue to call him "Tenka," because calling him "the Emperor" will feel strange and whatnot, haha. But yeah, this is very cool!

(I also feel super passionate about this character because I think he's heckin' cool. Seriously, bro, those ears. :tenka: )
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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Digsu » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:58 pm

Tikikata wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:42 pm
I'll continue to call him "Tenka," because calling him "the Emperor" will feel strange and whatnot, haha. But yeah, this is very cool!
I agree. Even though it's not really his name, it's the name the fandom is familiar with. Again, it's like how everyone calls "the Monster" Kaibutsu because it's the name everyone's familiar with, even though most people know it's not exactly his name. But like I said, if you happen to have some super technical situation, like a wiki page or something, it's worth keeping in mind.



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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Shiruba » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:38 pm

That's an interesting piece of information. I'll keep calling him Tenka as i do with Banken, since it's just easier to say as a character name.
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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Tora » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:50 pm

That's the reason I put on the Ginga Wiki in italic when it's not a real name which are put in bold to keep it apart.
Still Banken/Guard dog, Kaibutsu/Monster, Shougun/General, Tenka/Ruler is very interesting to talk about overall. ^^
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Re: About Tenka's name

Post by Arano » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:45 am

I'm still going to call him Tenka because any alternative is weird to me haha. Plus I can't search pixiv for glorious moustachedoggo fanart using anything else XD

It'll just be different for the Finnish fans I guess? Actually this would be a good topic to have in the hopeanuoli forum wouldn't it, name differences in translation?

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